If you’ve been put off booking a cruise holiday because you can’t bear the thought of leaving your furry friend behind, you might want to look into booking a cruise and taking your pets onboard Queen Mary 2 of Cunard. This magnificent cruise liner is the only one to regularly allow owners and pets to holiday together and is a great way to enjoy a relaxing break without worrying about your four-legged friend back home.
Taking Your Pets Onboard Queen Mary 2
Unfortunately, pets aren’t catered for on all Queen Mary 2 crossings – services for pets are only provided on transatlantic voyages between Southampton in the UK, Hamburg in Germany and New York in the US. But don’t let that put you off – although these itineraries include many days at sea, that only gives you more time to enjoy the wonderful onboard facilities which range from gourmet restaurants and cocktail bars to boutique shopping zones and relaxing spas.
Another slight setback is that not all pets are accepted. The Queen Mary 2 currently only allows cats and dogs to travel onboard in the luxury kennels which are worlds’ apart from the aeroplane crates your pets would otherwise be subject to. There are 12 individual kennels onboard the ship – six economy kennels for budget pets and six supersize kennels for pets who won’t accept anything less than the best. There is also an exclusive owners’ lounge where you can chat with other animal lovers and a spacious walking area where you can walk and play with your pet and introduce them to the other animals onboard.
Although basic bedding and food (including handmade dog biscuits freshly baked by one of the chefs onboard) is included in the price of the kennel, owners are encouraged to pack a few home comforts, such as blankets and toys, to make sure the cats and dogs feel as happy and comfortable as possible. As an owner, you’ll have unlimited access to the luxury kennels and pet facilities, so you can pop in and check on your pet as often as you like.
But don’t worry about your furry friend feeling lonely when you’re not there – they’ll be well taken care of by Dennis Lorca – the Queen Mary 2’s dedicated kennel master who has a real passion for animals. Dennis tends to the animals every day from 7.30am until 8.30pm when he does everything from making sure the kennels and the walking area are ship shape to playing with the animals and keeping them well fed.
The rules for pet travel are very strict, so make sure you organise the following before you set sail. Your pet must have a pet passport, be microchipped and have had a rabies jab around 21 days before departure. Flea, tapeworm and tick treatments must also have been administered and you’ll have to show a health declaration signed by a vet when you first board the ship.